If you ask anyone about embracing motherhood, you might mostly hear that it’s filled with joy. Of course, motherhood can be one of the most rewarding experiences in a woman’s life. There might be nothing more satisfying than watching your child grow. However, motherhood is a life-changing experience where you may leave behind many of your dreams and ambitions to care for your child. It’s a full-time job, and after a baby, many mothers find it challenging to move forward with their lives the way they would have before. One of the biggest ways motherhood can affect women is by impacting their education. Most mommies might feel like they have to pick either their career or child, but the truth is, if you play it smart, you can do both. If you’re looking to attend grad school as a mother but don’t know how to manage, keep reading below. We’ve got some tips to help you out.
Pick online programs
Although the outbreak of COVID-19 has been disastrous for the most part, there have been a few positive changes. One change that has been quite favorable to us all is recognizing that remote education is possible and can be much more productive than conventional forms of education. Online programs are now more readily available than ever and can help you learn at your own pace from the comfort of your home.
If you want to attend grad school but aren’t sure how you’ll be able to manage attending classes with a baby, an online program is the best choice. These programs are incredibly intensive and can give your career an amazing boost. You can choose several options, and clinical social work is one of the best degrees to pick. A master’s in social work can help you become a clinical social worker and you can easily complete your entire degree online. Clinical social work is a career path that can help you make a huge difference in people’s lives.
Swap quality with quantity
Many people believe that to succeed at something, be it grad school or parenting; they must always be there. However, this approach can make it hard for you to succeed at both, especially when balancing the two simultaneously. The fact is, you can easily do well in both areas if you prioritize quality over quantity.
For instance, instead of spending the whole day trying to study for a quiz, where you’ll inevitably end up wasting several hours, go for short but effective study sessions. Moreover, instead of cramming, break down your study sessions over some time to improve your long-term memory. Similarly, instead of feeling bad for missing some time in your child’s life, make the most of the time you do have. Spend quality time with your child doing something you both love so that even if you’re busy a few hours in the day, you never feel like you missed out.
Enlist some help
This step can be crucial for mothers going to grad school while their kids are still young. As your kids grow older, you may be able to leave them at home while you go to class, or they might need to attend school. However, when they’re younger, they require constant supervision and care. In such cases, the best way to juggle grad school and parenting is with a helping hand. You don’t have to look too far. Your partner can take over all parenting duties while you have to attend class or study.
If you’re a single mom, asking another parent or hiring a babysitter can be another option too. Having someone you trust around your child while you’re away can help you focus on your studies instead of worrying. If you still find yourself fretting, however, having short calls or facetime sessions can help you put your worries at ease.
Find kid-friendly resources
Most moms heading to grad school often expect to find an environment largely unwelcoming to mothers. You may not expect to find students or teachers willing to accommodate you or to find child-friendly resources on campus. It’s normal to feel like the odd one out, but the truth is your case may not be as unique as you assume. More and more mothers are enrolling in grad school, and many female students choose to continue their education while being pregnant too.
So, kid-friendly resources may not be as hard to find as you may assume. There are several ways you can seek additional help on campus. Many campuses may provide on-campus babysitting services, so you can keep checking in with your kids. Additionally, discussing your responsibilities with fellow students and professors can help you get some leeway when you need it.
Identify your motivations
Grad school can be pretty tough for the average student, and even more so if you’re juggling parenthood simultaneously. It is quite easy to get demotivated and start questioning yourself. So, before you decide to enroll, it’s important to evaluate your motivations. Are you doing it because someone pushed you to pursue this or because you think it’s just something you must do?
Or are you doing it because this is your dream, and you want to take your career to the next stage? If you can identify meaningful motivations for your journey, you’ll find it much easier to keep going, even when things get tough. Even the struggles can seem meaningful if you have a long-term goal in mind. If you’re finding it hard to analyze your motivations, getting in touch with a counselor or speaking with a partner or confidant can help too. Once you have a clear head, you’ll be much more realistically prepared for the journey ahead.
Being a mother doesn’t mean you have to put a full stop to other parts of your life. Apart from being a parent, your personal life is just as important, and there’s no reason you should pause pursuing your goals. By taking the right steps, you can make sure you can pursue higher education without missing out on the joys of parenting too. This guide can help you get some more clarity and can help you figure out how to juggle the two. Keep learning, and never stop dreaming!